Canberra Company Contractors is a construction company which deals mainly in the construction business. The company site was located below power lines, this is where Mr. Michael Booth used to work before the accident. The working site was below power lines which made Ms. Walker who was the presiding magistrate of the case to ask why the site was located below power lines ABC News. (2015). These happened while she visited the area where the accident occurred. These show that the working site was poorly installed and also there were no signs warning people.
It also emerged that workers from Canberra Company Contractors were warned against accessing the small compound but the visitors were not considered. The working site was not installed to safety standards as it was required. This workplace was against every safety standard which dictated how to secure a construction site. The company went into liquidation because of issues relating to safety standards which they fail to abide by them The Canberra Times. (2015).
The hazard and how this safety breach could have been avoided.
The hazard was the Death of Mr. Michael Booth who was driving a truckload of supply to Kenoss contractors. Then the unfortunate happen where the truck is said to have come near the power lines and created charges or the truck touched the power lines. These resulted in the charges which were large enough to deflate the truck tires. The victim Mr. Booth on seeing these decided to jump off the truck. These resulted in him collapsing and later dying. As we can see the company was guilty of negligence of safety standards Enhance Solutions. (2015).
These would have been avoided by use of warnings to indicate that the power lines were hanging low. These would have made Mr. Booth make other better decisions and he would not have driven into the death trap which resulted in his death. The site manager would have also tired flag warnings on the power lines such that is would have warned the driver, Mr. Booth, that he was driving towards a dangerous place and should drive more carefully. The company was run in a way which was not professional and the son of one of the directors was employed as a safety manager. These individual lacked papers or experienced needed to have such a job. These can be attributed to the source of the problem since the organization was managed in a bad way ABC News. (2015).
The site was not fitted locks which made it easier to access. These increased the chances of accidents because if people get free access to site added with other safety factors it can create a catastrophe. Which would be worse than the one of Mr. Booth that happened the organization got a lot of things wrong while doing their business. These can be attributed to poor leadership skills and also lack of proper safety manager who understand that the security of individuals working a construction site is very important The Canberra Times. (2015).
There was poor contractor management. As we can see Canberra contractors was a huge construction company. The did some sub-contracting such as that to Mr. Michael Booth to supply materials to their construction site which they were doing. During the delivery of material, there was not management level person of the company to welcome the sub-contractor and offer them directions on where to place the building materials. The organization failed to have a planned method of handling the supply of materials to their construction site which resulted in a visitor who does not understand the site well to drive into the site hence the incident and the death Enhance Solutions. (2015).
Power lines were not turned off during working hours. The management failed to ensure that the power line was not turn off taking into consideration the amount of voltage which passes through the construction site. The power used for construction purposes are of a very high voltage it can electrocute and individual in seconds. Taking that into consideration the organization failed the workers and put them under imminent risk which would have killed them all if the company continued operating normally and the bad luck had not fallen on Mr. Booth. The power installation was a ticking time bomb and it would have killed many more people. It was all about the time it would happen and how it will happen since it was an imminent threat to people who worked at the site. The employee employed by the organization had been warned against the small compound but nothing was done to warn visitors to The Canberra Times. (2015).
No spotter was used to ensure the safety of individuals to the site. There was no mechanism which was installed to guide and advise people as per how the work site was. These caused visitors to guess what usually happens in the work site since even the locks were not on the gate. It was like a dumping site where no regulation dictated the going in and out of the site. These free entry and exit was just a ticking time bomb and major losses would have incurred. Human beings require to be guided when the environment which they are on is not what they are used to and they would get into traps which they are not used to dodging. Availability of a spotter would have helped avoid this unfortunate incident. The management should have invested in having a spotter to help individuals navigate this work if they are new Enhance Solutions. (2015).
The organization had a very poor corporate culture. This poor culture made it possible for individuals to be employed even though they lacked the qualifications and experienced required. With the safety manager being the son of the general manager the poor nature of these organization was evident. The employment of this individual is the source problems of these organization. He was not able to ensure that safety mechanisms were installed to the organization which resulted in the accident. No safety mechanisms were installed even the basics of locking construction sites, installing warning signs and also switching off the power during working hours. These brought a major problem to the organization which eventually played a major role in the death of Mr. Michael Booth ABC News. (2015).
The organization also lacked the documentation of safety approach. The lack of such a document made the company a sitting duck as per the safety standards which had been set. Lack of such documentation also had major issues as per the understanding of how the employees were to work. The employees were exposed to major risks due to the laxity of safety measures to ensure their safety. This documentation is usually used for reference in installing security measures to the organization. Lack of it causes the organization to operate without safety standards directions. This documentation is very important and it would have saved the individual from the agonizing death which he had to undergo.
What actually happened and how did SAFEWORK resolve this issue?
Michael Booth lost his life due to the negligence of the Kenoss Contractors in installing security features on their construction site. The matter was resolved by magistrate Walker who made a ruling holding the company responsible over the death of Mr. Michael Booth. The compensation was up to $1.5 million but the company was to pay $1.1 million. The organization was undergoing liquidation so as to pay that amount of money The Canberra Times. (2015). According to stakeholders of safety standards, these would serve as a wake-up call to other companies who take lightly the safety of the employees at their working sites.
The case brought a widespread debate and these would help in ensuiring safety standards are abide by the companies who are fond of not abiding by them. The case was very serious such that the magistrate herself Ms. Walker said that there was a loss of life which would not have happened. She termed it a serious avoidable accident. The fines were the biggest to be awarded in Australia as per the breach of safety standards. It would serve as a lesson to big players in the industry to abide by the safety regulations. The company even tried to doctor Mr. Booth’s documents according to the visit he made which caused his death. The company was trying to play smart and hide major shortcomings which it had. Their aim was so that they can deflect the blame elsewhere because they knew they had committed a crime which would have resulted in the huge fines which eventually was ruled ABC News. (2015).
What could have been done differently and how would you address these if you worked in this workplace?
Everything would have been done differently and this accident was unnecessary and would have been avoided. If I would be the one in charge the first problem which resulted in this loss of life and eventually lose of business was due to the hiring of the son of the general manager as the safety manager. This individual knew nothing of safety and yet was given a job which he failed terribly even in doing the basics. The first thing would have to hire an experienced safety manager who had enough skills and exposure to handle these daunting task.
The next step would then have security warnings installed in the working site. These warning will help in alerting visitors of some dangers which exists in the working site. These will enable them to be cautious and ensure they don't fall into activities which can endanger their well-being. These warnings will alert them and guide them to the right channels of doing things while in the working site. I would also ensure that a spotter is installed in the working site, these will ensure that visitors and workers alike are guided on how to utilize different places in the working site.
I will also ensure that the access to the construction site is restricted. These can be achieved by the use of different security installations such as padlocks and also a proper security mechanism of getting in and out of the working site. These will ensure that the management have the actual control of their construction site and anything which is out of the scope of the company will be sorted out. These can help in contributing to sanity in these working sites which seemed to be a very a distant thing. The actual control would have ensured that Mr. Booth is guided in the right way and he would have not encountered the incident because he would have not be guided to the small compound which had some security challenges.
I would also ensure the safety documentation is developed. This documentation would have acted as a guide to the management and the employees working on the sites. This documentation would have addressed the possible dangers in the work sites and provide possible remedies to these dangers. By having such a documentation the lack of warning flags on the power line would have been a thing of the past and the incident would not have occurred and Mr. Booth would be alive and the company would not have undergone into liquidation. The documentation would also have addressed that the power lines need to be switched off during working hours. These would have ensured that the accident would not have happened because the source of the incident was the power line which was still on and resulted in the victim truck getting shocked and Mr. Booth jumping out which resulted in his death.
In conclusion, safety standards in working places are very important. Safety mechanisms installations ensure that the employees are safe and are provided for a conducive environment to work from. Safety of the employee gives them the opportunity to concentrate on their task at hand. These is because the environment is secure and the fear of the unkown is not present. As a result they will be able to be more productive than the would have been in a site which safety mechanisms has not been installed. Failure to abide to the safety regulations can result in the organization being able to lose their license and huge sums of money in terms of fines and compensations.
ABC News. (2015). Canberra construction company fined $1.1 million over the death of the truck driver. Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-19/construction-company-fined-1-million-over-workplace-death/6708032
The Canberra Times. (2015). Kenoss Contractors fined $1.1 million for a workplace death. Available from: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/kenoss-contractors-fined-11-million-for-workplace-death-20150819-gj2fra.html
Enhance Solutions. (2015). Poor safety culture and lack of systems to lead to fatality. Available from: http://www.enhancesolutions.com.au/blog/poor-safety-culture-and-lack-of-systems-lead-to-fatality
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